Ever since studies materialized that high intensity interval training is good for fitness and achieves results in a shorter time, many people have been doing HIIT to some degree as part of their workout regimen.
I like doing HIIT for cardio because it’s an efficient way to work out. If I can achieve more in less time, I’m all for it.
A lot of HIIT information revolves around sprints, stair climbing and indoor cycling as the mechanism. What I want to explore is whether treadmills are suitable for HIIT.
In a nutshell, yes, treadmills are excellent for HIIT. That said, I also set out below a few disadvantages of using treadmills for HIIT.
3 Reasons Treadmills are Terrific for HIIT
1. Precise timing
Because most motorized treadmills are outfitted with on-board computers and screens that include a timer, it’s easy to time your intervals precisely.
Some treadmills will permit you to program your own high intensity interval training workout so you set it, forget, but sweat it.
2. Hill climbing at your fingertips
The incline feature on most treadmills is widely underused and underrated. Many people will get in their car to find stairs and hills to train on. But, with a treadmill, you have any type of hill you like at the push of a button.
By inclining your treadmill you can increase the intensity quickly and at any time interval you like. Moreover, you don’t have to walk back down the hill in order to run up it again.
The incline feature provides another intensity variable for HIIT training. You can increase speed, increase the incline or both. This is probably the biggest advantage to using a treadmill for HIIT.
3. Rain, snow and heat don’t matter
I don’t like running in the rain or snow. I’m a fair weather outdoorsperson. That’s one reason I have a treadmill. No matter the weather, I can get in my workouts, whether HIIT or otherwise.
2 Disadvantages to treadmills for HIIT
1. Delay in speed adjustment
Most treadmills have a bit of a delay in adjusting speed. You change the speed on the console, but it takes a few seconds to actually adjust speed.
This is a disadvantage because HIIT training is precise with respect to the timing. Therefore, you have to accommodate speed adjustment delays in your HIIT on a treadmill.
2. May not be fast enough
Many motorized treadmills have a top speed of 10 miles per hour. If you’re a fast sprinter, this may not be fast enough for you. Therefore, if HIIT is part of your regimen and you’re fast, look for a 12 or 15 mph treadmill. You’ll pay more, but at least you’ll be able to do some speed training.
Alternatively, instead of increasing intensity with speed you can increase the incline.
Steve Vanderhoek is always exploring ways to get more out of workouts in less time. He contributes to the www.Fitness-Baron.com which is a website all about efficient and effective workouts whether with weights, fitness machines and/or yoga.
HIIT Treadmill Workouts to Try: